23media feature


Jacob Mumey

Drake Hanson created his photography account, 23media, that has become very well known at Pleasant Valley High School for his photography at school events.

Brooklyn Gowan, PV Only Editor

The social media account 23media_ has become a well known name among the halls of Pleasant Valley High School. Because of his impressive photography skills at sporting and other school events, senior Drake Hanson has created a brand for himself at PV. 

Hanson delved into photography when his friend asked him to take pictures at one of the Pleasant Valley cross country meets. Hanson felt that it was an amazing pastime and felt natural on a creative aspect. Soon, he asked Spartan Shield advisor Maureen Dyer, who is in charge of pictures at PV school events, if he could get more involved. After going to more events to take pictures, he decided to invest in his own equipment. He bought a camera and lens and began purchasing programs for editing his photos. 

From there, he decided to start sharing his work and created an Instagram account. “I tried to think of something easy to remember and something catchy, and 23media was so simple. It was genius because everyone can remember 23media and the name is kind of self explanatory because it means a media page. 23 is my hockey number and our graduation year and I wanted to do media because it includes anything in media,” he shared. 

To gain more traction, Hanson continued attending sporting events and posting consistently on his social media page. 

Unfortunately,  Hanson broke his collarbone on the side of his dominant arm during his hockey season, which left him wondering if he would be able to continue taking pictures. Luckily, the camera was small enough that he was able to hold it with one hand. During this time, he wanted to learn about the process of taking videos and begin taking videos. To achieve this, he made himself a contraption where he rested a tripod between his sling and his body leaving his hand free for camera use. 

Using his newly built contraption, he was able to film the popular Pleasant Valley vs Bettendorf “Run This Town” video. 

His video got attention from Matt Rokes, a physical therapist at the Athletic Development Program, and Hanson was asked to create a promotional video for their business. He used the money he received to invest in a new camera and lens to improve the quality of his pictures. Since then, he has used his new camera and some of the school equipment to get the best photos and videos. 

Hanson puts a lot of time, effort and money into 23media. “I don’t think people following 23media know how much work it takes to keep it running. I’m constantly editing pics and taking videos. I have to pay for all the programs that allow me to do these things and I have to pay for the dropbox program that allows me to send out pics and videos to everyone. I paid for my camera and my equipment. I bought the Mac that I use,” he shared. He also has to be at most of the school events, go home and eat dinner and spend the rest of his night on homework. He shared that many people expect a 24 hour turnaround but with his daily schedule, that is far from feasible. 

He doesn’t want that to take away from his love for what he does though. “Not that I am complaining about it because I love doing it and I really want my friends and all the high school athletes to get good pics. That’s why I don’t charge anything for the pics, I just put my 23media logo on it,” he explained. The watermark helps bring attention to his Instagram account but it is also nice for the athletes as they don’t have to pay for his photos. 

The future for 23media is still unclear. Hanson hopes to do creative video for Iowa State athletics but doesn’t know if his schedule will allow for it. His priority is getting his degree but he would love to have free time to allow him to continue his photography in college.